Blood cultures are used to detect the presence of bacteria or fungi in the blood to identify the type present, and to guide treatment. A blood culture might also detect the organism causing other infections like osteomyelitis, a bone infection, and can reveal a number of infections or problems, such as endocarditis.
Single blood cultures should be discouraged due to their lack of sensitivity and difficulty in interpretation e.g. isolating coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS) from a single blood culture may represent contamination or true bacteraemia. For the majority of patients, two blood culture sets are recommended. A second or third set taken from a different site not only increases yield but also allows recognition of contamination.
5-10 ml blood in Bact ALERT bottle for adult patient, 1-5 ml blood in Bact ALERT bottle for children